Is it horror? Is it sci-fi? When it comes to those giant beasts that salsa dance with skyscrapers and squash cars like bubble wrap, they deserve a genre unto themselves. Granted history hasn’t been most kind to the genre filled with cheesy special effects, lousy acting, and a campy plot, but in the last ten years the rebranding of the most notable mega monsters along with the addition of some newcomers has reenergized the demand for these potential blockbusters. As we are still recovering from the sub-par monster movies of the 90’s, Let’s pay tribute to the recent box office winners that very well may have saved the genre from a slow death.
King Kong (2005)
With the exception of being the most adorable and most cuddle worthy, Kong had no problem squashing humans, swatting airplanes and punching T-Rex’s. For the last 80 years, the story hasn’t changed and is one the most tragic romances ever conceived. From the very first moment the audience member laid eyes on King Kong, there was certainly fear, but no hatred to be found as even Kong feared for his own life and had something more to lose, that for the love for one Ann Darrow.
This cuddly ape has made four solo trips to the theaters, with box office success on almost every attempt. If the death of King Kong taught society one thing, it was remorse for an entity that we didn’t understand and therefore feared and tried to destroy. That about sums everything in today’s world.
From the moment it left Lady Liberty in ruins all over New York Harbor, there was absolutely no love for this ugly prick. Apparently taking a crashed satellite to the head just off Coney Island, this beast awakens like Rambo on Angel Dust and instead of simply running red lights on a course for freedom, it tears through heart of Downtown Manhattan leaving the military little choice but to level all two and a half square miles of Central Park, allegedly killing the main characters off in the process. Since the movie’s inception, the monster and it’s origins have been shrouded in secrecy, to which much of its success can be attributed. Even after the conclusion of the movie, it was still purposely unclear where the beast came from and if it was in fact, destroyed. Many audience members had trouble getting past the whole shaky handheld camera display, but those who endured were rewarded at the end of the movie with a close-up shot of the monster…right before some poor bastard was bitten in half.
Super 8 (2011)
So what happens when you imprison a telepathic, spider-like alien the size of a four-bedroom house and conduct exhaust experiments on it? The result is no different than a dog that’s been kicked too many times by it’s owner. However, unlike the Cloverfield monster that this alien was rumored to be linked with, this little guy has and ultimately shows a soft spot for the main characters that discover it’s lair and when confronted by the alien, an E.T. moment ensues and you begin to root for the alien to just be able to hitch a ride back home, wherever the hell that may be. There are a few antagonists that get in the beings way and they are dealt with…swiftly.
Pacific Rim (2013)
This was no horror movie by any means; this movie was aimed at action junkies who salivate whenever Transformers is are mentioned. This gang of city wrecking, psycho beasts from another dimension have their hands full when they encounter our walking PlayStations with missiles and fists powered by human pilots. The amount of CGI in this flick is enough to shut your eyes off for a week. With just over 400 Million in box office gross, a sequel may very well be in the works.
No other monster in history has been used and abused more than this lizard on steroids. It lost to King Kong in 1962 and it also lost to audiences in 1998 after mixed reviews shelved this beast from American theaters for over sixteen years. Well Godzilla is finally back and father time has not been good to him, as he seems to have developed a gut and maybe a drinking problem. So I’m assuming that when he wakes up this time, his pissy-ness will hopefully have reached a whole new level to where even the Kraken doesn’t want a piece of the fat old man.